Friday, 26 December 2008

Lemon Ice Cream Tart

So today is the 26th December – otherwise known as Boxing Day, in my view the sad day after Christmas when all the excitement and waiting is over. But, it is definitely not all bad – now I have lots of nice new things to enjoy and lots of delicious food to finish off..what a hardship.. :) . Yesterday I had the great pleasure in receiving some things which will no doubt be featuring on here very soon…doughnuts anyone??

I hope everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable day yesterday and spent it just how you like to. For me it was church, followed by my Granny and Uncle David coming round, getting the lunch ready, present time!!! and then the most important meal of the year – Christmas lunch! We had a fantastically delicious traditional meal – thankyou Mummy :) For pudding, we served Christmas pudding and (finally I mention it!) this gorgeous tart.

We served it a few night before Christmas to some other friends and it went down very well, but we still had half left. Some of the people at lunch yesterday (me included) are not such fans of Christmas pud, so we had this instead. It goes a long way! It does have quite a bit of alcohol in but hey, its Christmas and it tastes yummy. It does make a lot, as I say, so it is perfect at big celebrations. It is also good for Christmas because it does not go in the oven, which is good as the oven will probably be busy with all the rest of the Christmas lunch. Also, it can be made far in advance so doesn't need to be hurriedly done on the day of the celebration. I think our lemons were quite small, as in the end we added the juice and zest of four rather than two, and perhaps it could have had even more lemony taste. Or if you prefer, you could I suppose reduce some of the alcohol. I really liked the ginger nut crust and think it is much more interesting (for this tart) then a plain digestive one, because it adds a sharp extra element.

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Lemon ice cream tart with ginger nut crust, from Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater

120g butter

400g ginger biscuits

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For the filling:

150ml white wine

2tbsp marsala

grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

grated zest of an orange

4tbsp caster sugar

500ml double cream

  1. You will need a loose bottomed tart tin with a diameter of about 21cm. Line the base of the tart tin with a single piece of greaseproof paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a small pan. Crush the biscuits in a food processor or bash them in a plastic bag. You want them to be a coarse powder.
  3. Stir the biscuits into the butter. Line the base of the tin with the buttered crumbs, pushing far up the edges. Put the crumb lined tin in the freezer.
  4. Pour the wine into the bowl of a food mixer. Add the Marsala and the grated zest of the lemons and orange. Squeeze the lemons and add the juice.
  5. Add the sugar and cream to the wine and zest mixture, then beat slowly until thick. The consistency needs to be soft and thick, so that it lies in voluptuous folds rather than standing in stiff peaks.
  6. Scrape the mixture into the crumb lined tin and freeze for at least four hours. Remove from the freezer 15-20 mins before you intend to serve it.

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Of course, now that Christmas is over, it means so is my Advent Series. It was not.. ahem…successful, and I, for all manner of reasons, did not quite manage to post every day.. hehe. But I did enjoy doing it and I think I posted more than I normally do, which was fun. Perhaps posting everyday was a little ambitious for me – and I have renewed admiration for those that do this, such as Marie! I hope you enjoyed what I did do!


Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope you all have a fantastic day - I am having a lovely one with the family.
Recipes to follow soon!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

December 18th – Parmesan Sables

Ten Days it has been! Oooh dear :( But I have been ill with a feverr for a majority of that time and since my appetite has been tiny – which is very worrying for me! Hehe Oh well back to baking todayy.


These are some goood biscuits. They are from this months Waitrose Magazine which is one of the many food magazines I always like – it has a nice mix of good recipes and lovely is very English if that makes a lot of sense!

These biscuits are simple to make because you can just whizz them all up in the Magimix, roll, wet, coat and bake! You can make them just as bake and freeze cookies and then coat them in the edging when you need to, or not even edge them at all if you don’t want to. I like the edging though, it adds a delicious crunchy edge. I love poppy seeds – see last post! – but this was my first time eating the black onion seeds which the batch above are coated with and i thought they worked well too.


Above is the poppy seed version, which were my favourite but we served them to my Mum’s friends at her Christmas party and they liked both! You could coat them with different things too – the recipe suggests sesame seeds.You can find the recipe here. I had no problems with this recipe at all..although I am not sure if it makes quite as many as it says.

That’s all for now, although I would like to say I wont be able to post for a few days as I am very busy! However, i was absolutely thrilled to receive a charming award from Marie a few days ago. I will definitely try to pass this on , by doing the post from my Dads blackberry! x

Monday, 8 December 2008

December 8th – Lemon, Poppyseed and Yoghurt Cake!

Mmmmm! = one word to describe this cake! Others would be light and fresh and well quite summery really, although we are in deepest darkest winter here. It was a is quite a dense cake – one of those ones which is mainly a cake but oh so nearly a tea bread too! Like, in the picture in the book (it is a Tamsin Day-Lewis recipe) it shows a slice spread with Greek yoghurt!

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I made just one change to this recipe – instead of using two lemons, I used one and one lime, to give it an extra tang. I also had no problems with this cake! I just had too wait a while half way through making it as I couldn’t open the poppy seeds, but as soon as my sister came home they were opened and we were off again. When I took it out the oven it had a few cracks on top, but when I came back half an hour later (after letting it cool) these cracks had all closed up! It stll wasn’t quite as flat and perfect as the book – my Daddy and I call it “rustic” :) But, all in all it is a welcomed tea cake which is perking up our table through all the bad weather at the moment.

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Short and sweet post I’m afraid :D xx

Friday, 5 December 2008

December 5th – Mini Banoffee Pies!

At the beginning of this Advent Series I admit I did not enjoy it so much. I so wanted to post every day I just baked quickly and hurriedly and didnt really get to enjoy it as much as normal – especially not posting late at night! But now I see the true benefits of this series. Today after school I got to munch on chocolate biscuit cake AND still have an excuse for making 15 mini banoffee pies – I must post today! Yay! I am glad Advent is 24 days loong…. :)

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My Mum is catering for a large party tomorrow, and one of the desserts she is making is a few big banoffee pies – lucky party guests I say! But at the end, there was a bowl of biscuit crumbs, chocolate shavings and toffee left to be used up. So, with a few bananas and pears (my Daddy and sister oddly hate bananas!) and some whipped coffee-cream – these mini puddings were made.

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I did not follow a recipe as such because the ingredients were mainly waiting to be used up – and I just made as many as possible until the toffee ran out! My mum had boiled condensed milk in its tins for hours until you take it out and the gorgeous sticky toffee has formed inside. It is a dangerous process ( the pressure could possibly cause the cans to explode :O ) but it produces the most yummy toffee, far better than the shop-bought stuff. I popped it back in the microwave today as it had gone quite firm and sticky so impossible to spread but after a minute or so it was much easier. I used about half that tin and got fifteen little pies. My godmother Sue is staying and she explained the process too me and off I went! I put the cake cases in the tins and squashed down the melted butter and biscuit crumbs, then spread the toffee, layered the bananas or pears, put a healthy dollop of coffee cream on top, sprinkled with grated chocolate and voila!

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Although, as I say, I did make this using a few leftovers – I would definitely make it again without any leftovers and doing it all especially! They are quite tricky to serve…I made them up in the cake cases in the cupcake tin, then lifted them all out onto a lovely red (Christmassy!) platter and people helped themselves from there – eaten on a plate with a spoon…gorgeous!

Until tomorrow…. :D x

Thursday, 4 December 2008

December 4th – Chocolate Biscuit Cake…

a sure favourite!
Its true, I cannot resist this cake – ever! No matter how full I am or what I have eaten – this cake goes with anything and can be eaten anytime. And the best thing? Easy peasy to make, with very little effort and no oven.
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I also love this cake because (other than its easiness and moreishness) it is made from ingredients which I am generally very likely to have in – just chocolate, golden syrup, butter, sultanas and biscuits! Of course, you could make it even more basic by taking out the sultanas if you are not a fan but I think that they add a great aspect of chewiness. You could also add more: I like it with glace cherries but did not include them this time as I am saving them for another Advent Series recipe. The recipe includes nuts, but I didnt include those. Sort of like the mincemeat, you can easily alter the recipe to your requirements. Once we made it with maltesers, which was, although it sort of goes without saying – amazing! Marshmallows would also be good – like a Rocky Road…the possibilities are endless!
Next time, I would add more chocolate as this recipe is sort of meant to be chocolate with biscuit in, but my version was more like biscuit rolled in chocolate – if that makes any sense! But, no matter, because it means my family gets to keep this tray and I shall make another for my school Christmas Fair.
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Right now I have described it in such loving terms – time for the sort of unnecessary recipe! And, yes, I do realise this is another Rachel Allen recipe…what can I say! :D You can find the recipe here (scroll down :P )

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

December 3rd – Mincemeat Crumble Cake

I have found my camera lead! This means I can show off my mincemeat I made yesterday. Once you have mixed everything together, you add the suet, so your mincemeat looks like this, all gorgeously Christmassy and juicy:

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Then, Delia says to heat it in the oven for 3 hours so that the suet all melts and you can no longer see any white strands. However, all I did was cover it with clingfilm and put the whole bowl in the microwave for 5-6 minutes and it was all gone easy peasy! So then all that was left was to pop it into jars (wash them with boiling water beforehand) and you end up with beautiful mincemeat ready to go:

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So today, it was December 3rd and a new recipe! I wanted to start using my mincemeat straight away so I made a Mincemeat Crumble Cake. Its got three components/layers but they are all very simple: a thin vanilla sponge to soak up all the mincemeat juices, then a mincemeat and apple mix, then a big crumble topping. I did like this cake but I had a little drama – the oven was not on fan but on oven and top grill, when I put it in. Not realising, I just left it for its 40minutes by which time I took it out and my crumble topping was now complete charcoal! My Mum cut off the burntness and we put the cake back in for five more minutes on its normal setting to cook properly all the way through. When we took it out it perhaps wasn’t as pretty as I had intended but tasted just as good! All rather embarrassing to admit, but my intro bit does say “document by successes and failures” although I would not call this a failure at all but just a bit of an accident!

When we ate it though it had worked just as planned: the strong vanilla sponge was a yummy base, and the mincemeat and added apple were rich, plump and juicy. Then what was left of the crumble topping was nice and did add the extra crunch needed to make it all complete. Definitely worth a try – just make sure your oven is on the right setting :D

The recipe was good, but the method described seemed quite long and round-about and using a lot of plates and bowls. I did the crumble all in the Magimix then emptied it into a bowl and set aside. Then I put all the sponge ingredients in at the same time and whizzed and done! But, below I have printed the original recipe.

Mincemeat Crumble Cake, from Entertaining with Katie Stewart.

Makes a 22.5cm (9 inch) cake


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2 dessert apples

225-350g (8oz-12oz) mincemeat

175g (6oz) self raising flour

pinch of salt

100g (4oz) butter

100g (4oz) caster sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

2tbsp milk

Crumble Topping:

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100g (4oz) self raising flour

75g (3oz) butter

75g (3oz) caster sugar

25g (1oz) flaked almonds


  1. Heat the oven to 180’C. Grease a 22.5cm (9inch) spring clip tin.
  2. Sift the flour for the crumble topping into a bowl. Add the butter and cut in with two table knives using a scissor like movement until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  3. Add the sugar and flaked almonds and set aside.
  4. Peel, quarter and core the apples, then dice finely and mix into the mincemeat.
  5. Sift the flour and salt for the cake on to a plate. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until soft and light.
  6. Lightly mix the eggs and vanilla essence and add to the creamed mixture, a little at a time, beating well after each addition – add a little of the flour along with the last few additions of egg.
  7. Gently fold half the remaining flour into the mixture, then add the rest of the flour and milk and mix until blended.
  8. spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and spread level. Fork the apple and mincemeat mixture evenly over the filling and cake. Then spread the crumble topping evenly over the filling and cake.

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9. Place in the heated oven and bake for 45-50minutes. Allow to cool in the tin before opening the sides.

P.S. Sorry for the “interesting” and oddly lit photos, but I am making these things at about 7 when it is dark :(

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Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Advent Series!

As this is my first Christmas blogging, I have decided to set myself a little challenge to make me bake lots and also post more! Every day through the Advent season, right up until Christmas Eve, I will post a festive recipe. I have lots of things in the planning: my first gingerbread house, cherry and pineapple cake, mince pies, ecclefachan cakes, a festive cookie, a cookie tree, crumble cake and lots more! I will also be trying some savoury things in the run up such as pork and practicing the goodies for real Christmas Day. Also, before clever people out there point out to me that as I post this it is the 2nd of December – I did want to post yesterday but today’s recipe needed 24hours soaking and I’m jut not organised enough to start the day before!
December 1st & 2nd – Homemade Mincemeat :)
This is a recipe from Delia Smiths Christmas book from a few years ago, but I double the recipe. I thought I would start my series with mincemeat because then I can go onto make lots of things using it. No pictures today as my camera lead has gone missing (aaah!) but I will put them up when it turns up.
The thing I like about making your own mincemeat is that you can alter the mix of ingredients to your own tasting. My Mum doesn’t really like candied peel, but we all love glace cherries in our mince pies so we replaced half the peel with cherries. We also only used half the almonds as I don’t really like the texture if there are too many nuts. You get great results with this recipe: lots of jars full of delicious mincemeat just waiting to be turned into something even more yummy.
Whilst making this, I decided that as much as I love homemade mincemeat, I’m not such a fan of having the job of making it! The process is pretty much just weigh, chop, mix, heat, mix, jar! Because of course the mixture is just currants and fruit etc, there is not the best mixture to eat! However, I would still always do it because it smells absolutely gorgeous, just like Christmas, and you know exactly what is in it so it is better than buying shop bought.
This link has the recipe. As I said, I doubled it. I got 11 medium jars out of it, and the original recipe says you get 3lb. As it is simply fruit and sultanas etc. it would be an easy recipe to double or half and make your own quantities.
See you tomorrow for December 3rd’s recipe!